‘Lunatic driving’ could have ended in death – Judge

first_imgA young Carndonagh man, who was three times over the drink driving limit when he crashed his van after a high-speed Garda chase, has been warned by a judge that he’s facing a prison sentence.Dean Doherty, of Galwilly, Carn, was charged with dangerous driving at Cullineen, Redcastle and Drung, Quigley’s Point, on April 13, last. He was also charged with drink driving, driving without a licence and insurance at Gortnashade, Quigley’s Point on the same date when he appeared before Carndonagh District Court.The 22-year-old pleaded guilty to all charges when he appeared before the court, which was sitting in Buncrana.Garda Inspector Denis Joyce told the court that Gardaí were conducting a MIT [Mandatory intoxication testing] checkpoint near Redcastle when Garda Tully stopped Mr. Doherty, who was driving a Ford Transit van, at 1.44am.He said Doherty failed a roadside breath test and was asked to pull in off the road, but instead he accelerated and drove off.“He drove along the road then took a sharp left turn to a minor road,” Insp. Joyce outlined.“This was an extremely narrow road and Mr Doherty went straight out at a T junction while continue to drive at high speed – around 120km per hour on a minor, narrow road.”Insp. Joyce said the chase went on between 16 and 20 minutes with Doherty going round a blind corner, without slowing or stopping.“Garda Tully lost sight of the vehicle but as they continued along the road they came across a female standing at the side of the road,” said Insp. Joyce.“She had been a passenger in Mr. Doherty’s van and they discovered that the van had left the road and ended up in a stream under a bridge. The van was upright under the bridge. They then saw Mr. Doherty standing in a field nearby. He was not injured, thankfully no one was injured.”The court heard that upon arrest Doherty admitted he had no licence or insurance and a subsequent breath alcohol test at Buncrana Garda Station revealed a breath alcohol concentration of 62mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.Insp. Joyce said Doherty was processed as a specified driver, because he had no licence, which has a drink driving limit of 9mg of alcohol.He also stated that Doherty had been fined €250 in Carn Court in 2017 for having no insurance but had not been disqualified from driving as it was his first offence.Defence solicitor Ray Lannon told the court that his client worked as a plasterer in Dublin and had been saving for insurance after he was quoted €3,400 for cover.He said on the night in question he had been going to the Bailey with friends, and had two passengers on board the van with him.“When he was stopped at the checkpoint he panicked and left the scene,” Mr. Lannon said.“We are fortunate that no one was injured – my client made a bad situation worse and he is lucky he’s not injured. He does now have an insight into the manner of his driving and the situation he found himself in.”Mr. Lannon said Doherty indicated on the first occasion that he wanted to plead guilty and in the meantime he completed the prosocial driving course in Donegal Town and Cavan.“He says the course was an eye-opener and he will never ever drink and drive again,” said Mr. Lannon.“He is working hard and earns €500 a week in Dublin and gets a lift up and down toDublin with a contractor from Carn. He’s asking for a chance.”However Judge Paul Kelly rejected his saying Mr. Doherty ‘had a chance’ when he was not banned from driving in 2017 when he was convicted for having no insurance.He said cases like this explain why people receive insurance quotes like €3,400.“It’s no wonder why people receive people receive quotes like that,” said Judge Kelly.“This case is exactly why people receive those quotes. This type of lunatic driving could cause death or serious injury – we have saw it before. Then it results in insurance claims against someone who has no insurance so the people that do pay insurance then have to pick up the bill.”He said this was a case ‘undoubtedly a case where a custodial sentence was warranted’, however he said he would adjourn sentencing until he received a community service and probation service report.“Mr. Doherty got a chance in this court in 2017 so that exacerbates his situation, however, I note that he has pleaded guilty at an early stage and that he has since completed the prosocial driving course so I will take that into account when sentencing,” added Judge Kelly, before adjourning the case until October 15.‘Lunatic driving’ could have ended in death – Judge was last modified: July 24th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:CarndonaghchasecourtdonegalJudge Paul Kellylast_img read more

Bacteria as a Vast Unexplored Medicine Chest

first_img(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Most of our therapeutic agents have been derived from bacteria.  A new survey shows we have barely tapped the surface of potential medicines beneath our feet.Science Daily reported on a study of three desert soils from California, Arizona and Utah published in the May issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.  A team from Howard Hughes Medical Institute found “greater diversity of potentially useful products than was previously supposed” in the biosynthetic genes of soil bacteria, implying that “environmental bacteria have the potential to encode a large additional treasure trove of new medicines.”  The article explained where most of our medicines come from:Natural compounds have been the sources of the majority of new drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, and bacteria have been the biggest single source of these therapeutically relevant compounds. Most bacterially-derived antibiotic and anticancer agents were discovered by culturing bacteria from environmental samples, and then examining the metabolites they produce in laboratory fermentation studies. But the vast majority of bacterial species cannot be cultured, which suggested that the world might be awash in potentially useful, but unknown bacterial metabolites.It seems that researchers will not soon run out of material to investigate: “the genomes of environmental bacteria could encode many additional drug-like molecules, including compounds that might serve, among other things, as new antibiotics and anticancer agents.”When you think of bacteria, do you think of health?  Maybe findings like this will help end a kind of microbial racism.  A few bad ones should not create bias against the majority that work hard to create a better world.This survey also suggests that bacteria originally had a useful function in the Creation paradigm.last_img read more

9139 2 x 6cm Crystal Hair Slides Grips Wedding Party Prom, got comlemented how nice they were

first_imgLoved them excellent dimension aswel.Employed these for a wedding i went much too, they are so beautiful and glimpse alot a lot more high priced then they are so even superior,.Excellent clips- definitely fairly- i have good hair and they keep it in position very easily.Key specs for 9139 2 x 6cm Silver Crystal Hair Slides Grips Wedding Party Prom:Ideal for Weddings/Parties/Proms or any other oaccasionComments from buyers“Very good product, Pretty hair slides, very pretty, should hold the finest or thickest of hair., got comlemented how nice they were”Pretty rather, ought to maintain the very best or thickest of hair. . Bought for my daughter to have on as a bridesmaid accent.Pretty hair slides, they seem far more pricey than they are. Very powerful so will remain secure, however difficult to get rid of once in position .Pretty hair slides, they seem far more pricey than they are. Very powerful so will remain secure, however difficult to get rid of once in position .Pretty rather, ought to maintain the very best or thickest of hair. . Bought for my daughter to have on as a bridesmaid accent.I purchased these to go to a relatives party in. They search really fairly but you only need to have to put on just one for a normal family party as they surface also dressy otherwise. Could be additional suited for a bride for her wedding.Pretty rather, ought to maintain the very best or thickest of hair. . Bought for my daughter to have on as a bridesmaid accent.I’m quite satisfied with the slides as they are for a wedding, though smaller than what i believed, they search pleasant in the hair and i am not far too fussed with the measurement. Sparkly and very flower sample, great grip and does not pull on hair, stays in my fantastic hair and easy to slide out with out dragging or pulling.Loved them excellent dimension aswel.Received comlemented how awesome they had been. Obtained comlemented how awesome they were.Pretty hair slides, they seem far more pricey than they are. Very powerful so will remain secure, however difficult to get rid of once in position .I’m quite satisfied with the slides as they are for a wedding, though smaller than what i believed, they search pleasant in the hair and i am not far too fussed with the measurement. Sparkly and very flower sample, great grip and does not pull on hair, stays in my fantastic hair and easy to slide out with out dragging or pulling.Excellent clips- definitely fairly- i have good hair and they keep it in position very easily.Employed these for a wedding i went much too, they are so beautiful and glimpse alot a lot more high priced then they are so even superior,.Really whilst it lasts but at that selling price whst can you be expecting. I are inclined to use my jewellery all the time, health and fitness center, marathons, mattress in all places and these couldn’t stand the speed. If you deal with them improved than i did i am guaranteed they will be good.I’m quite satisfied with the slides as they are for a wedding, though smaller than what i believed, they search pleasant in the hair and i am not far too fussed with the measurement. Sparkly and very flower sample, great grip and does not pull on hair, stays in my fantastic hair and easy to slide out with out dragging or pulling.Really whilst it lasts but at that selling price whst can you be expecting. I are inclined to use my jewellery all the time, health and fitness center, marathons, mattress in all places and these couldn’t stand the speed. If you deal with them improved than i did i am guaranteed they will be good.Received comlemented how awesome they had been. Obtained comlemented how awesome they were.Employed these for a wedding i went much too, they are so beautiful and glimpse alot a lot more high priced then they are so even superior,.Loved them excellent dimension aswel.I purchased these to go to a relatives party in. They search really fairly but you only need to have to put on just one for a normal family party as they surface also dressy otherwise. Could be additional suited for a bride for her wedding.I purchased these to go to a relatives party in. They search really fairly but you only need to have to put on just one for a normal family party as they surface also dressy otherwise. Could be additional suited for a bride for her wedding.last_img read more

How has flooding impacted grain markets?

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLCIt would seem that the market hasn’t really reacted to the massive flooding throughout the Midwest. This is likely because the amount grain affected, currently estimated at $500 million in Nebraska alone, is relatively small. While that sounds large, the total U.S. corn crop is valued at about $60 billion and the bean crop at $40 billion. So, losses may only total about 1% of the crop across the entire Midwest.About 13% of ethanol production was estimated to have been halted last week. But that demand is small, 2 million bushels per day, relative to the estimates of what have been lost so far of maybe 250 million bushels of corn. However, if those plants stay off line for more than a couple months then the issue could become a bigger problem. Unfortunately, that lack of demand can’t be made up. It’s lost forever because most plants were running at near full capacity.The long-term issue from the flooding may be that fewer acres of corn are planted this spring. This issue will be debated until late June. While there may be some prevent plant acres, there is still time for a lot of acres to dry out before planting. Spring weather will dictate this outcome over the next 60 days.China bought 12 million bushels of corn last week. While this isn’t bearish news, it will take many more purchases for the market to get excited. After all, just 2 weeks ago the USDA suggested the export pace would slow by 75 million bushels this year. It would seem unlikely China would continue to buy substantial U.S. corn when Brazil and Argentina’s harvest will be in full swing next month and priced to move because of limited storage in the southern hemisphere. However, a trade deal could force their hands, if we ever make one.Corn bounced off of a recent low this week, indicating end users may have found a level they are willing to buy. Plus, funds seem less likely to continue shorting the market and may even be covering some of their recent sales back in as we enter the beginning of another growing cycle. Farmers weren’t selling at the bottom, but did show a little interest during this week’s rally. Market actionDuring this ongoing sideways market below breakeven, I continue to sell calls and straddles to pick up premium on my unsold ’18 corn, so I can eventually try and manufacture profitable prices. Following is this week’s trade results. Sold straddleOn 2/22/19 when May corn was around $3.85, I sold an April $3.80 straddle (selling both a put and call) and collected just over 12 cents total on 20% of my 2018 production. What does this mean?If May corn is $3.80 on 3/22/19, I keep all of the 12 cents.For every penny corn is below $3.80 I get less premium penny for penny until $3.68.For every penny higher than $3.80 I get less premium penny for penny until $3.92.At $3.92 or higher I have to make a corn sale at $3.80 against May futures, but I still get to keep the 12 cents, so it’s like selling $3.92.At $3.68 or lower I have to take a loss on this trade penny for penny below $3.68. My trade thoughts and rationale when placing the straddle on 2/22/19This trade is most profitable in a sideways market, which I think is the most likely scenario right now. If prices don’t rally, I can use this premium to help push a final sale to profitable levels. If the market rallies, I’m happy selling 20% of my production above $3.90. What happened?It’s been a roller coaster ride for corn the last 4 weeks.1st 2 weeks — market fell 25 cents3rd week — market rallied 10 cents4th week — market rallied another 10 cents.On Friday morning when May futures hit $3.80, I bought back both sides of the straddle for 2 cents. After commissions, I made 8 cents profit on this trade (12 cents collected – 2 cents to buy it back and – 2 cents in commissions).I could have just sold corn at this point, and I would have got more versus just selling outright a month earlier when I placed the straddle trade. Corn closed Friday at $3.78 + .08 options premium = $3.86 vs. $3.85 when I placed the straddle trade. I didn’t sell corn Friday because I think there is still upside potential and instead, I repeated this type of trade as well as added another (see below). New corn tradesNew trade – Sold call:On 3/22/19 when May corn was at $3.80, I sold a May $3.80 call for 8 cents – expiring 4/26/19 on 10% of my ’18 production. What does that mean?If corn is trading below the strike price when this option expires I keep the 8-cent premium and add it to another trade later.If corn is trading above the strike price when this option expires I have to sell corn for the strike price of $3.80 PLUS I keep the premium. This means a price of $3.88 on May futures. My trade thoughts and rationale on 3/22/19Since I still need to sell some of my remaining ’18 corn, but I don’t want to sell $3.80 May futures, this trade allows me to try and get higher values than are available today or even a month ago. If the market stays sideways, I keep the 8-cent premium. There isn’t downside protection with this trade, but that isn’t the goal for this trade. New trade – Sold straddleOn 3/18/19 when May corn was around $3.71, I sold a May $3.80 straddle (selling both a put and call) and collected 19 cents total on 20% of my 2018 production. What does this mean?If May corn is $3.80 on 4/26/19, I keep all of the 19 centsFor every penny corn is below $3.80 I get less premium penny for penny until $3.61.For every penny higher than $3.80 I get less premium penny for penny until $3.99.At $3.99 or higher I have to make a corn sale at $3.80 against May futures, but I still get to keep the 19 cents, so it’s like selling $3.99At $3.61 or lower I have to take a loss on this trade penny for penny below $3.61. My trade thoughts and rationale when placing the straddle on 3/18/19As always, a straddle trade is most profitable if the market stays sideways. During the market setback over the last few weeks I’ve felt the market is valued too low. I was able to place this exact same trade a month ago at the same price, so repeating it again made sense to me. Similar to the April straddle trade, I don’t expect to make a lot on this trade, but I expect I’m unlikely to lose much on it also.When placing straddles, I’m not worried if the market rallies, because that forces me to sell at a price, I’m comfortable with selling. In this case, I’ll be happy selling another 20% of my production for $3.99. My fear with a straddle trade is always that the market will go lower. What my ’18 corn position could be in 5 weeksNow, 40% of my production is covered with sold calls or sold straddles. If I include the profit from the April straddle trade that expired today, these new trades would allow me to sell the equivalent of $4 against May futures if the corn board is anywhere above $3.80 on 4/26/19. I’ve limited my upside potential if there is a huge rally in the next month, but given the last 8 months, I would be very happy to get $4 on most of my remaining ’18 corn. Even if the market rallies significantly, I can still take advantage with sales on my ’19 unsold corn production. What if corn is below $3.80?I’ll still collect some premium on the 40% of my production until the price hits about $3.60. With the April straddle profit, if corn on 4/26/19 is:At $3.75 I can collect an average options premium of 15 cents or I can sell what is the equivalent of $3.90At $3.70 I can collect an average options premium of 12 cents or I can sell what is the equivalent of $3.82At $3.65 I can collect an average options premium of 9 cents or I can sell what is the equivalent of $3.74. What if corn is below $3.60?I would be frustrated like all other farmers as I won’t have any additional grain sold. I would also lose penny for penny on 30% of ’18 production from $3.60 and lower on this trade. While I’ve been picking up premium every month since last August selling calls and straddles to offset a drop like this, if the price is $3.60 on 4/26, I am chipping away at profits I have been making on previous trades.Historically corn prices are in an upward trend until early summer, but that doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t go down. There are still a lot of unknowns:How many planted acres will the USDA estimate on March 29?What will the planting pace be like this year in Mid-April?How could global corn demand be affected by the spread of African Swine Fever?Is a trade resolution with China completed in the next month and what does it look like?Do the funds continue to buy back their short position or add to it?While I’m doing what I think is right for my farm operation, there isn’t a perfect trade out there. I make the best decision with the information that is available to me, while trying to limit the risk exposure to my farm operation. That being said, it will be a long 5 weeks until I see what happens and I might have to make some adjustments if new information becomes available. Please email jon@superiorfeed.com with any questions or to learn more. Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results.last_img read more

New Zero-Energy Homes Almost to Cost Parity

first_imgIf you had a choice between building new homes that meet basic standards and building comfortable, healthy homes that dramatically cut energy bills, which would you prefer? How about if the low-energy homes cost the same (or nearly the same) as a standard home to build? If the cost is relatively equal, shouldn’t every new home be built this way? A recent Rocky Mountain Institute report, The Economics of Zero-Energy Homes: Single-Family Insights, makes the case that not only is this vision becoming achievable, in some locations in the United States the economics are in place today to make cost parity (almost) a reality. And in one New England location — thanks to progressive incentives and energy codes — it is a reality. In our report, we analyzed four cities — Houston, Atlanta, Baltimore, and Chicago — to determine the current incremental cost to build a zero-energy (ZE) or zero-energy ready (ZER) home in Climate Zones 2 through 5 (where 90% of new construction homes are built) to determine the most cost-optimal energy upgrade package.RELATED ARTICLESBest Path to Net-Zero EnergyZero Energy Ready Homes Gain GroundEvery New Home Should be Zero-Energy ReadyZero-Energy Homes Are Ready for the MainstreamA Production Builder Offers Net-Zero-Energy Homes ZE homes produce or procure as much renewable energy as they consume over the course of a year. ZER homes are designed to achieve ZE levels of efficiency but don’t yet have photovoltaics. We found that the cost increase to build a ZE or ZER home is modest in all four zones, with incremental costs averaging 7.3% for ZE homes and 1.8% for ZER homes — far less than consumers, builders, and policymakers may realize. To scale the results of our four-city analysis across the country, we used R.S. Means to adjust the labor and material costs, PVWatts to adjust the solar resource, EnergySage to adjust the solar cost, and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s analysis of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) to adjust incremental costs in relation to local energy codes. We did not factor in local incentives. Using this approach, we approximated the incremental cost in the 47 most populous U.S. cities (see the table below). At a 1.1%  incremental cost, many cities on this list may have incentives available that could result in cost parity for ZER homes. This is exciting because ZER homes can be built anywhere regardless of solar resource and roof design, and so are incredibly scalable. Table 1:  Zero-energy and zero-energy ready results scaled to the 50 most populous cities in the US (Note: Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Miami were among the top 50 most populous cities but were excluded because they are outside of IECC climate zones 2–5.) City ZE Incremental Cost Energy Savings for ZE ZER Incremental Cost Energy Savings for ZER New York City, NY $19,534 $2,270 $4,166 $850 Los Angeles, CA $18,661 $2,011 $2,330 $701 Chicago, IL $19,702 $2,059 $1,945 $746 Houston, TX $14,713 $1,365 $1,290 $431 Phoenix, AZ $15,619 $1,728 $1,769 $602 Philadelphia, PA $22,103 $1,281 $7,621 $608 San Antonio, TX $15,298 $1,340 $1,243 $444 San Diego, CA $17,733 $1,128 $2,228 $393 Dallas, TX $15,195 $1,473 $1,681 $513 San Jose, CA $18,581 $1,743 $2,634 $607 Austin, TX $15,066 $1,331 $1,228 $441 Jacksonville, FL $12,806 $1,390 $1,243 $464 San Francisco, CA $17,953 $2,608 $2,694 $909 Columbus, OH $20,095 $2,410 $3,877 $1,094 Fort Worth, TX $15,291 $1,473 $1,661 $513 Indianapolis, IN $19,903 $1,957 $3,919 $889 Charlotte, NC $18,857 $1,668 $6,509 $722 Washington D.C. $17,121 $1,855 $2,738 $699 Seattle, WA $13,815 $1,349 $3,125 $505 Atlanta, GA $19,548 $1,833 $6,094 $794 Denver, CO $24,248 $1,860 $1,358 $674 Boston, MA $21,050 $1,816 $1,837 $658 El Paso, TX $17,694 $1,639 $1,600 $571 Detroit, MI $19,753 $2,508 $1,574 $909 Nashville, TN $19,355 $1,812 $5,406 $860 Memphis, TN $18,864 $1,613 $5,817 $699 Portland, OR $15,551 $1,531 $2,976 $573 Oklahoma City, OK $16,153 $1,374 $1,641 $479 Las Vegas, NV $17,793 $1,589 $2,066 $558 Louisville, KT $19,647 $1,771 $5,667 $840 Baltimore, MD $15,828 $2,000 $2,738 $749 Albuquerque, NM $26,654 $2,103 $5,406 $998 Tucson, AZ $16,306 $1,396 $1,321 $466 Fresno, CA $18,013 $1,743 $2,390 $607 Sacramento, CA $17,915 $1,834 $2,411 $639 Mesa, AZ $16,586 $1,499 $2,140 $616 Kansas City, MO $19,806 $1,897 $3,035 $711 Long Beach, CA $18,305 $1,372 $2,269 $478 Omaha, NE $24,060 $2,171 $3,834 $986 Raleigh, NC $18,805 $1,633 $6,440 $707 Colorado Springs, CO $26,694 $2,277 $3,578 $1,034 Virginia Beach, VA $16,773 $1,502 $2,827 $566 Oakland, CA $17,911 $1,743 $2,613 $607 Tulsa, OK $16,887 $1,136 $1,661 $396 Arlington, TX $15,296 $1,473 $1,702 $513 New Orleans, LA $16,859 $1,261 $1,337 $418 Wichita, KS $19,162 $1,865 $2,440 $703 The importance of codes and incentives Our research uncovered a basic truth: Not all cities are created equal in terms of the cost to build ZE and ZER homes. Even the exact same home with the exact same energy upgrade package can result in significantly different costs in a different city. Why? Robust local building energy codes (like IECC 2015), better solar resources, lower labor and material costs, and comprehensive incentives all make it easier to build ZE and ZER homes at a lower cost. Therefore, cities with these features get closer to ZE/ZER cost parity, and those without are farther from parity. For example, Chicago has a stronger building energy code than the modeled baseline (IECC 2015 versus 2009, respectively). ComEd, the utility that serves Chicago, offers incentives for appliances, smart thermostats, heat pump systems, and heat-pump water heaters. The combination of stronger energy codes and solid local incentives brings the incremental cost of a ZER home in Chicago from $5,368 to $495, as seen in the bar graph below. At this incremental cost, ZER homes would pay back in less than a year through utility bill savings. Impact of stronger energy codes and incentives on incremental ZER cost in Chicago One city is already proving that building cost-parity ZER homes is a reality, thanks to a forward-thinking program from Mass Save, a collaborative of Massachusetts’ natural gas and electric utilities and energy efficiency service providers, including Berkshire Gas, Blackstone Gas Company, Cape Light Compact, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, Eversource, Liberty Utilities, National Grid, and Unitil. The program offers performance-based incentives that offset the entire estimated incremental cost of $1,837, meaning that the cost barrier to ZER homes is eliminated in Boston. Building ZE homes at ZER prices While ZER homes are nearing and, in some cases, even achieving cost parity, ZE homes appear to have a long way to go before cost parity is achieved. But what if we could build ZE homes at ZER prices? Enter third-party-owned solar financing. There are two types of third-party-owned solar financing methods: a solar lease and a solar power purchase agreement (PPA). In a solar lease, the customer pays a specified amount every month, regardless of the system’s energy production. In a solar PPA, the customer pays a specified amount per kilowatt-hour of generation, so the amount paid varies monthly as a function of generation. In 2017, 41% of residential solar was third-party owned, so this is a common model. By utilizing third-party-owned solar financing, builders can build a ZER home and, at no additional upfront cost, turn it into a ZE home. Further, in some locations, solar PPA or loan providers can offer contracts that provide homeowners with cheaper electricity rates than those available through utilities. Notably, Lennar, the second largest builder in the United States, recently created a PPA that sets the solar price 20% below utility rates for 20 years. This means homeowners will pay lower utility bills than living in a ZER home, and all their energy consumption will be offset by solar. Getting over the finish line Many cities are close to achieving cost parity for ZER and ZE homes, and city policymakers can take action to help push them across the finish line. Stronger energy codes will bring the bar higher for all new construction homes, and therefore lower the incremental cost of ZER. Additionally, city policymakers can work with the local utility to provide comprehensive incentives for homes that are performing significantly better than code baseline. Finally, to help ZE homes achieve cost parity, city policymakers can encourage businesses to offer PPAs and solar loans by working with utilities to offer favorable interconnection and net-metering policies and by providing clarity around any legal or regulatory requirements for third-party solar ownership models. To learn more about  The Economics of Zero Energy Homes: Single Family Insights report, check out the Zero-Energy Homes Are Ready for Mainstream Markets blog or this webinar summarizing the report. Stay tuned for an update that includes Climate Zones 6 and 7 and a similar report featuring multifamily buildings coming out in the first quarter of 2019.   Alisa Petersen is a senior associate on Rocky Mountain Institute’s Buildings team. ©2018 Rocky Mountain Institute. Published with permission. Originally posted at RMI Outlet.last_img read more